Motherwell teen dreams of walking again

Mark Sweeney needs �80,000 to buy a robotic suit. Pic: SWNS
Mark Sweeney needs �80,000 to buy a robotic suit. Pic: SWNS

A Motherwell teenager could have his dreams of walking again realised with the help of robotic suit.

Mark Sweeney (18) has undergone 125 brain and spinal surgeries and became paralysed six years ago during an operation to reduce a cyst on his spine.

At just 12-years-old Mark was left “devastated” at the thought of never being able to walk again, but is attempting to raise £80,000 to buy a bionic suit.

If successful, Mark will become the first person in Scotland to have the equipment.

The ReWalk suit enables people with spinal cord injuries to stand upright, walk, turn, and climb up and down stairs.

Mark, who has a form of Spina Bifida – among a variety of other spinal conditions – is currently studying IT at New College Lanarkshire.

His mum Margaret (41) who cares for Mark full-time said he was “devastated” after becoming paralysed at such a young age, and has since struggled with coming to terms with it.

She added: “He was really depressed about it, and he can still get upset about it now, but he tries to stay upbeat.

“Raising the money to get this suit would be life-changing for Mark.

“He has been trying to become a young disabled actor, and spent a week at the BBC studios in London recently.”

In May, Mark had the chance to try one of the ReWalk suits in Birmingham for the first time.

The family have already raised almost £7000, but Margaret says it’s nowhere near what they need.

She added: “Seeing Mark walk for the first time was amazing. Sometimes people who get them can’t walk in the right away but Mark just got up and walked for the first time in six years – it was beautiful. I was crying.

“He was smiling from ear to ear, and it became so obvious how desperately he needs this suit. We are finding it so difficult - but I’m trying my best to do everything I can to get Mark the suit.”

To donate visit the Go Fund Me page.